Chivalry: Medieval Warfare – Review

November 16, 2012 2:35 pm

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a First-Person melee combat game by Torn Banner Studios which uses the Unreal engine. You may have seen internet gamers such as Seananners playing the game or noticed it on Steam; however you found it, you’ll love it. What drew me to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was its simplicity, well… that and cutting off the limbs of my enemies with a large axe. As with many first person games the initial learning curve might seem frustrating to those unfamiliar with the genre; however it the simplicity which makes Chivalry so accessible to the masses. The game has been compared to previous titles such as War of The Roses and War Band; though these comparisons can never sit well. They are similar in as much as they are all cult titles and that they are all set in a form of the medieval past, Chivalry however is entirely focused on First-Person combat and is a lot more enjoyable for it.

The tutorial modes will see you stabbing, slashing and lopping off heads in no time, and then the real fun begins. Upon entering a battle you chose one of four classes, each with their own choice of weapons and equipment. In layman’s terms there is an archer, a standard infantry soldier, a vanguard class (with a long ranged melee weapon, e.g. pole arm/spear) and a knight class (a heavily armored yet slow killing machine). Each class has pros and cons, these boil down to stats like speed and HP and a player will soon be familiar with a style that feels comfortable and works, but even sooner with one that doesn’t. Skill is quickly rewarded in matches as movement and timings are key. Visually the game is stunning, set out through a series of maps which range from gritty towns full of filthy peasants to sweeping castles waiting to be ambushed. As with all PC games the power of your computer will be a large factor in how well the game runs. The maps are similar in size to the medium to small maps found within Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The maps themselves lead to interesting gameplay with hideouts for archers, narrow and wide passages for tactical control. Nevertheless I may be engaging too deeply here, ultimately you have to kill the other players, and kill ‘em fast.

Whilst in battle the action lives up to the developers purpose in that it “ruthlessly portrays the intensity of medieval combat”. This all sounds very heavy, but when all of a sudden the last member of your team has just been skewered and the lumbering culprit is coming for you next, and the only thing you have to defend yourself with is your sword and some hopes and dreams, all of a sudden things are very intense. This is all made better by the design of the game (there is no real HUD and very little intrusive game information) this leads to an absorbing experience which might leave you screaming for your life or cheering like a warlord.

It is in multi-player that this game really shines; with up to 32 players in one match the battlefield soon becomes chaotic and entertaining. A group of friends may band together to take out the enemy one by one, or in the confusion it may turn into a bloody free for all. I’d never really considered the notion, but as a gamer there’s nothing as satisfying as chopping off the head of one of your best friends. As you gain more experience with your classes, you unlock new weapons giving the game replay value and an air of individuality to everyone’s play style, yet as there is no campaign, you can join on-going games in moments with friends the game has already has great lasting value. It is refreshing to see a game so focused on an enjoyable multi-player experience which is also well polished. You can buy the game from Steam now for around £20 or get four copies of the game for £56, which, should you have any friends, is well worth the money.

Game on.

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